Two Pittsburgh Pirates trades on this date to cover, plus six former players born on May 23rd.
On this date in 1923, the Pirates traded pitcher Whitey Glazner and second baseman Cotton Tierney, plus cash, to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for pitcher Lee Meadows and infielder Johnny Rawlings. Glazner was a 29-year-old pitcher, who stood just 5’9″ and threw right-handed. He was in his fourth season with the Pirates, posting a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings prior to the trade. He had a 14-5, 2.77 record in 234 innings during the 1921 season. His 1922 numbers dropped down to a 4.38 ERA and a losing (11-12) record on a team that finished with an 85-69 record. Tierney was also 29 years old, coming off a big season in which he batted .345 in 122 games, with 47 extra-base hits, 86 RBIs and an .893 OPS. He was batting .292/.309/.417 in 29 games for the 1923 Pirates, with 22 runs and 23 RBIs. Rawlings was 30 years old at the time of the deal. He had not played yet during the 1923 season. The Phillies picked him up off waivers from the New York Giants just 11 days earlier. He hit .282 in 88 games for the 1922 Giants, with 46 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs and a .729 OPS. Meadows was 28 years old at the time, and he was pitching poorly for the Phillies prior to the trade. He had eight seasons of Major League experience, seven times winning in double-digits, but he also had twice led the National League in losses, mostly due to playing on bad teams.
Meadows became a star pitcher for the Pirates after the trade, winning 87 games over his first five season in Pittsburgh. He helped the Pirates to the World Series in both 1925 and 1927 by posting an identical record of 19-10 both years. In between those pennant winning seasons, he led the league with 20 wins. Rawlings hit .284 for the 1923 Pirates, with 53 runs and 45 RBIs in 119 games. He then stuck around as a backup for three more seasons in Pittsburgh, though he barely played during the 1924 season. Glazner did not fare well in his two years in Philadelphia. He went a combined 14-30, 5.29 in 318 innings over 47 starts and 16 relief appearances. He never pitched in the majors again after the 1924 season. Tierney hit .317 for the 1923 Phillies, with 68 runs, 31 doubles, 11 homers and 65 RBIs. The Phillies then traded him in the off-season to the Boston Braves. He played one season there, before being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1925, which ended up being his last season in the majors. His batting dropped way off, posting a .626 OPS in 1924, followed by a .656 OPS in 1925, which forced him to the minors to finish his career five years later. The Pirates did much better in this deal, even with a large sum of cash factored in for the time. Meadows put up 15.7 WAR for the Pirates. The two players going to the Phillies combined for 3.2 WAR over the rest of their careers, while Rawlings had 0.8 WAR. So even without Rawlings included, it still would have been a one-sided win for the Pirates.
On this date in 1963, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded outfielder Bob Skinner to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Jerry Lynch. The 31-year-old Skinner was in his ninth seasons with the Pirates at the time of this trade. He was originally signed by the club in 1951, though he missed two years to military service. He was a two-time All-Star, who spent most of his time with the Pirates in left field. He hit .302 in 1962, with a career high of 20 homers. He was hitting .270/.341/.393 at the time of the trade, with 18 runs, ten extra-base hits (no homers) and eight RBIs in 34 games. Lynch began his Major League career with the 1954 Pirates, playing three seasons in Pittsburgh before he was lost to the Reds in the 1956 Rule 5 draft. He hit .281 in 1962, with 41 runs, 15 doubles, 12 homers and 57 RBIs over 114 games. He was hitting .250/.294/.531 in 22 games at the time of the deal, with five runs, three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs. Lynch was a year older than Skinner, and they both spent a majority of their time playing in left field.
Lynch hit .266/.328/.443 for the 1963 Pirates, with 26 runs, six doubles, ten homers and 36 RBIs in 88 games. He was the regular left fielder in 1964, when he put up a .273 average, with 35 runs, 14 doubles, 16 homers, 66 RBIs and an .823 OPS. He then moved to a bench role with Pittsburgh for his last two seasons in the majors. The Pirates dealt Skinner at the right time, despite the stats seeming to favor the Reds in this deal. He hit .253 for the 1963 Reds, with 25 runs, ten doubles, three homers and 17 RBIs in 72 games. He was hitting .220/.270/.424 through 25 games in 1964, when the Reds traded him to the St Louis Cardinals for a minor league player and cash. Skinner played parts of three seasons in St Louis, hitting .273/.328/.400 in 184 games, with 37 runs, 22 extra-base hits and 47 RBIs. As far as WAR numbers after the deal, Lynch was actually a -0.2 overall due to very poor defensive numbers, including a -2.1 dWAR in 1964. Skinner was also below average defensively, but not nearly as bad, giving them the better of the deal overall. He put up 1.2 WAR total in his final five seasons.
Deacon Phillippe, pitcher for the Pirates from 1900 until 1911. Phillippe got a later start on his pro career, with just two seasons in the minors prior to making his Major League debut a month shy of his 27th birthday. He played semi-pro ball before debuting with Minneapolis of the Class-A Western League during the 1897-98 seasons. That was the highest level of the minors at the time. He went 7-12, 3.42 in 163 innings over 18 starts and four relief appearances in 1897, finishing with 45 strikeouts and a 1.66 WHIP. His second season saw him win 22 games (with 18 losses) and pitch 363 innings. His ERA isn’t available for 1898, but his 5.38 runs per nine innings mark was much lower than the one he put up in the previous season. He had 99 strikeouts, while improving to a 1.17 WHIP. Phillippe played that first season in the majors in 1899 with the Louisville Colonels, going 21-17, 3.17, in a career high of 321 innings. He had 68 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP. He completed 33 of his 38 starts, including two shutouts. He came to the Pirates in a 19-player deal on December 8, 1899 that also brought Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke to Pittsburgh, changing the path of the Pirates franchise. Deacon (his first name was Charles) continued his winning ways in Pittsburgh, amassing four straight twenty-win seasons to start his time with the Pirates, with a better winning percentage each year.
Phillippe went 20-13, 2.84 in 279 innings in 1900, with 75 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP. He was second in the league in wins, fifth in ERA and he completed 29 of his 33 starts. He helped the Pirates to their first National League pennant in 1901 by going 22-12, 2.22 in 296 innings, completing 30 of his 32 starts, while also pitching five times in relief. He improved to a 1.05 WHIP, while picking up 103 strikeouts. He finished third in the league in wins, and his ERA was the second best in the league behind teammate Jesse Tannehill. The Pirates had their best season in history in 1902, finishing 103-36. Phillippe went 20-9, with a career best 2.05 ERA, which ranked fifth in the league. He took one of those losses on June 22nd when he gave up three runs over 18.2 innings against the Chicago Cubs. He completed 29 of 30 games that year, including five shutouts. He finished with a 1.07 WHIP, and his 122 strikeouts ranked eighth in the league.
Phillippe’s record was 25-9, 2.43 in 289.1 innings during the 1903 season, leading the Pirates to the first modern day World Series. He threw four shutouts that season, to go along with a 1.03 WHIP and 123 strikeouts. He completed 31 of 33 starts, while also making three relief appearances. He pitched five games during that series for a Pirates pitching staff that was short on able-bodied pitchers at the time. He ended up going 3-2, 3.07 in 44 innings during the World Series. He was limited to 166.2 innings due to injuries in 1904. He failed to reach 20 wins for the first time. He went 10-10, 3.24 in 19 starts and two relief appearances, finishing with 82 strikeouts, a 1.25 WHIP, 17 complete games and three shutouts. Phillippe bounced back with his fifth 20-win season for the 1905 Pirates. He went 20-13, 2.19 in 279 innings, while throwing 25 complete games and five shutouts. He was fifth in the league in wins and seventh in ERA that year. He set a career high with 133 strikeouts, while setting a personal low with a 1.01 WHIP, though he would best that mark later in his career. He didn’t allow a single home run all season. Only one other National League pitcher threw more than 77 innings without allowing a homer that year. He was still used often after 1905, but he never approached that inning total again.
Phillippe went 15-10, 2.47 in 218.2 innings for the 1906 Pirates, making 24 starts and nine relief appearances. He had 90 strikeouts, a 1.11 WHIP, 19 complete games and three shutouts. He had a very similar 1907 season, going 14-11, 2.61 in 214 innings, with 26 starts and nine relief appearances. He had 61 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP. He pitched just five games over the first three months of the 1908 season, then didn’t pitch again after July 8th, despite being healthy for most of the year. The results were very poor when he did pitch, giving up 15 runs in 12 innings. Just two days after his final game that season, Phillippe was said to have added a spitball to his pitching repertoire. He was known for his curveballs and strong velocity. There were rumors that he would retire after the 1908 season, but he was back with the Pirates in 1909. He was a useful pitcher, despite seeing somewhat limited work for most of the year. He went 8-3, 2.32 in 121.2 innings, with a 1.03 WHIP over 13 starts and nine relief appearances. He threw six shutout innings over two relief outings during the World Series. Phillippe saw more bullpen work in 1910. He went 14-2, 2.29 in 121.2 innings over eight starts and 23 relief appearances, finishing with a career best 0.99 WHIP. His big league time in Pittsburgh ended with three appearances during the 1911 season, in which he allowed five runs over six innings. He pitched/managed for the Pittsburgh Federal League team in 1913, one year before the league was considered to be a Major League club. He managed the Pittsburgh club in the independent United States League during the 1912 season.
Phillippe pitched twelve seasons in Pittsburgh without ever posting a losing record. He finished with a career record of 189-109, 2.59 in 2,607 innings. He made 289 starts and 83 relief appearances in his career, finishing with 242 complete games and 27 shutouts. Among Pittsburgh’s franchise leaders, he ranks fifth in ERA (2.50), fifth in wins (168), fifth in complete games (209), sixth in innings (2,286), seventh in shutouts (25) and tenth in strikeouts with 861. His 1.09 WHIP is third best in team history, and he has the lowest walks per nine inning mark in team history for pitchers with at least 600 innings. He ranks 20th all-time in ERA for pitchers with at least 2,500 innings pitched. He led the league in walk rate five times, while also posting the best marks during the 1909-10 seasons when he fell short of enough innings to qualify for league leaders.
Tyler Beede, pitcher for the 2022 Pirates. He was a first round pick (21st overall) of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 out of high school, yet he decided to attend Vanderbilt University. He kept that draft status three years later, signing as the 14th overall pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2014. He split his 2014 season between the rookie level Arizona League and Salem-Keizer of the short-season Northwest League. Beede had a 2.93 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP and 18 strikeouts over 15.1 innings between both stops. He split the 2015 season between San Jose of the High-A California League, and Richmond of the Double-A Eastern League. He had a 2.24 ERA over nine starts with San Jose in a high-offense environment. He then posted a 5.23 ERA over 13 starts with Richmond. He went 5-10, 3.97 between both stops, with 86 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP in 124.2 innings. Beede spent all of 2016 in Richmond, where he went 8-7, 2.81 in 24 starts, with 135 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP over 147.1 innings. He played for Sacramento of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 2017, where he went 6-7, 4.79 in 19 starts, with 83 strikeouts and a 1.47 WHIP over 109 innings. He posted a 4.50 ERA over four starts in the Arizona Fall League after the 2017 season.
Beede played for Sacramento for a majority of 2018, though he missed some time that required rehab work, plus he made two starts for the Giants. He had a rough season with Sacramento, going 4-9, 7.05 in 74 innings, with ten starts and 23 relief appearances. He allowed seven runs on nine hits and eight walks in 7.2 innings with the 2018 Giants. He had a 2.34 ERA in seven starts for Sacramento in 2019, along with 22 starts and two relief appearances for the Giants. Beede went 5-10, 5.08 during his big league time, with 113 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP over 117 innings. He didn’t play during the shortened 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery. He struggled in 16 starts for Sacramento in 2021, while working with a limited pitch count. He had a 6.66 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP over 48.2 innings, with 45 walks and 50 strikeouts. He gave up three runs over one inning in his only big league appearance that year. Beede made the 2022 Giants out of Spring Training due to being out of options. He allowed 20 base runners over 9.2 innings before he was designated for assignment. The Pirates picked him up on waivers on May 12th. He went 2-5, 5.23 over 51.2 innings for the 2022 Pirates, making five starts and 20 relief appearances. He had 35 strikeouts and a 1.55 WHIP. The Pirates let him go late in the season. He signed to play in Japan during the 2023 season, where he had a 5.76 ERA in 29.2 innings through mid-May. His big league stats over four season show a 7-16, 5.34 record in 29 starts and 29 relief appearances, with 163 strikeouts and a 1.56 WHIP in 187 innings.
Vic Black, pitcher for the 2013 Pirates. He was originally drafted in 2006 out of high school by the New York Mets, selected in the 41st round. They would eventually get him too, but not before he debuted in the majors with the Pirates. He went to college instead of signing, where he was drafted 49th overall by the Pirates in 2009 out of Dallas Baptist University. Black made it to the majors in four years, despite some injury issues in the minors that set back his progress. He saw seven starts and six relief appearances during his first season of pro ball. Black made just 11 starts during the rest of his pro career, and nine of those came while playing independent ball in his final season. He had a 3.45 ERA, 33 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP in 31.1 innings for the 2009 State College Spikes of the short-season New York-Penn League. Shoulder and biceps injuries limited him to just two starts with West Virginia of the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2010. His second start on May 22nd lasted just six batters before he left the game. He began 2011 back in West Virginia, where he had a 5.28 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in 22 appearances, before he was promoted in August to Bradenton of the High-A Florida State League. He allowed four runs in 6.2 innings for Bradenton after the promotion, finishing the year with a combined record of 3-1, 5.05 in 35.2 innings, with 28 strikeouts and a 1.63 WHIP. Black spent the entire 2012 season in the Altoona bullpen, posting a 1.65 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, 13 saves and 85 strikeouts in 60 innings over 51 appearances. He got hit hard in the Arizona Fall League after the season, allowing 15 runs over 10.2 innings.
Black began the 2013 season with Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League, where he had a 2.51 ERA and 17 saves in 46.2 innings over 38 games. He had a 1.05 WHIP and 63 strikeouts. Black was called up to the majors in July of 2013. He gave up two runs over four innings in three relief appearances for the Pirates before he was traded to the Mets for outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck in August of 2013. Black went right to the majors with the Mets, where he pitched 15 times over the rest of the season, going 3-0, 3.46 in 13 innings, with one save, 12 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP. He spent part of 2014 with Las Vegas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 1.45 ERA in 18.2 innings, despite 17 walks and a 1.55 WHIP. The rest of the year was spent with the Mets, where he posted a 2-3, 2.60 record in 41 appearances, with 32 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP in 34.2 innings. Injuries then sidetracked his career. He last played during the 2018 season in independent ball, without making it back to the majors after 2014. Black went 1-4, 7.09 over 27 appearances for Las Vegas in 2015, with 26 walks, 27 strikeouts and a 2.18 WHIP in 26.2 innings. He made six scoreless appearances for Binghamton of the Eastern League, but rehab time with St Lucie of the Florida State League saw him allow three runs in 3.2 innings. His work was somewhat limited due to a neck injury that season. He pitched briefly in the Dominican during the 2015-16 winter, though that lasted just three appearances.
Black was let go by the Mets after the 2015 season, then missed the entire 2016 season due to right shoulder surgery. He pitched just 36 innings in the minors for the San Francisco Giants in 2017, splitting his time between Richmond of the Eastern League and Salem-Keizer of the short-season Northwest League. He combined to go 1-1, 5.25 in 25 appearances, with 35 walks, 27 strikeouts and a 1.89 WHIP. The 2018 season was spent with New Jersey of the Canadian-American Association, where he went 2-4, 4.37 in 55.2 innings, with 38 walks, 37 strikeouts and a 1.74 WHIP. Including minors/majors, winter/fall ball and independent ball, he threw a total of 390 innings in his pro career. His final big league stats over two seasons show a 5-3, 2.96 record in 59 games, with 47 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP in 51.2 innings. He saved one game for the 2013 Mets. Black is currently a minor league pitching coach for the Pirates.
Mike Gonzalez, pitcher for the 2003-06 Pirates. He was taken by the Pirates in the 30th round of the 1997 draft out of San Jacinto College at 19 years old. They had drafted him in the 17th round a year earlier out of high school, but he didn’t sign. He was known as a reliever in the majors, but he was a starter for much of his minor league career. He split his first season between the rookie level Gulf Coast League and Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League, combining to go 3-1, 2.23 in 48.1 innings, with 55 strikeouts and an 0.99 WHIP. Gonzalez would end up playing at multiple levels for each of his first nine seasons in pro ball. The 1998 season was split between Augusta and Lynchburg of the High-A Carolina League. He had much better results at the lower level, posting a 2.84 ERA in 50.2 innings for Augusta, compared to a 6.67 ERA in 28.1 frames with Lynchburg. He struck out 94 batters that year in 79 innings, while finishing with a 1.54 WHIP. The 2000 season was similar, with much better results at Lynchburg than he had at Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League, though he didn’t pitch great at either level. He put together a 12-7, 4.80 record, a 1.54 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 138.2 innings. Gonzalez did the Lynchburg/Altoona split again in 2001. He pitched better at each level, combining for a 3.51 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP over 118 innings. Despite the better results, he had 98 strikeouts, which was the first time he averaged under one strikeout per inning. He missed a little time in 2002, which required a rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League. The rest of the season was spent in Altoona, where he went 8-4, 3.80, with 82 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP in 85.1 innings over 18 starts.
Gonzalez was pitching strictly in relief in 2003. He missed a little time early in the season, resulting in him making brief stops at Lynchburg and Altoona, before heading to Nashville of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Shortly before his Major League debut on August 11, 2003, Gonzalez was dealt to the Boston Red Sox, only to be traded back to the Pirates nine days later along with Freddy Sanchez. Injury concerns over other players in the deal led to a second trade between the two clubs. He pitched two games in Triple-A for the Red Sox before returning to the Pirates on July 31st. Combined between all four minor league stops, he had a 3.46 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, four saves and 31 strikeouts in 26 innings. Gonzalez had his share of trouble during his rookie season in Pittsburgh, making 16 appearances for a total of 8.1 innings pitched. He finished with a 7.56 ERA, a 1.56 WHIP and four homers allowed. He began 2004 back in Nashville, but after 35 strikeouts, an 0.95 WHIP and a 0.90 ERA in his first 20 innings, he was back with the Pirates in late May. Gonzalez started off with 13 straight scoreless appearances for the 2004 Pirates. He ended up pitching a total of 47 games (43.1 innings), finishing with a 1.25 ERA, an 0.88 WHIP, 55 strikeouts and one save. He had another strong season in 2005, pitching 50 innings over 51 appearances, while finishing with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP, 58 strikeouts and three saves. He would take over the closer role in 2005, saving a career high of 24 games that year. He went 3-4, 2.71 that season, with 64 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP in 54 innings over 54 games. Gonzalez was dealt with minor league infielder Brent Lillibridge to the Atlanta Braves after the 2006 season for first baseman Adam LaRoche and minor league outfielder Jamie Romak.
Gonzalez was off to a great start with the Braves, posting a 1.59 ERA in 18 appearances, before he was placed on the disabled list after his game on May 15, 2007 with an elbow injury. He didn’t return until mid-June of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery. After nine minor league rehab appearances, he had a 4.28 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and 14 saves in 33.2 innings over 36 games for the 2008 Braves. He then rebounded with a 2.42 ERA in 74.1 innings over 80 appearances in 2009. He had ten saves, a 1.20 WHIP and 90 strikeouts during that last year with Atlanta. Gonzalez signed with the Baltimore Orioles in December of 2009 as a free agent for two years at $12,000,000 total. He was placed on the disabled list just three appearances into the 2010 season with a left shoulder strain, then didn’t return until late July. He had a 4.01 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 24.2 innings over 29 appearances in 2010. He then had a 4.27 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 46.1 innings over 49 games in 2011, before being traded to the Texas Rangers on August 31st. Gonzalez had a 5.14 ERA in seven innings over seven games after the deal. He helped them get to the World Series by pitching scoreless ball over his first six postseason games, before allowing two runs during a blowout in the World Series.
Gonzalez signed with the Washington Nationals as a free agent after the 2011 season. He had a 3.03 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 35.2 innings over 47 appearances for the 2012 Nationals. He signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for 2013, where he finished his big league career as a lefty specialist, ending it with a 4.68 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 50 innings over 75 appearances that season. He pitched minor league ball for the Nationals in 2014, posting a 2.78 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 22.2 innings with Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. He was out of baseball in 2015, then played in Mexico in 2016, during his final season of pro ball. He had a 5.89 ERA over 38 appearances with Tijuana, throwing a total of 18.1 innings. Gonzalez pitched 509 games in his big league career, going 17-24, 3.14 with 56 saves. In 444.1 innings over his 11 seasons, he had a 1.30 WHIP and 511 strikeouts. With the Pirates, he had 7-9, 2.37 record, 28 saves and 183 strikeouts in 155.2 innings.
Nelson Norman, infielder for the 1982 Pirates. He was originally signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1975 out of the Dominican Republic at 16 years old. Before he could play a game for Pittsburgh, he was part of a four-team, eleven-player deal. The trade occurred on December 8, 1977, and it sent him and Al Oliver to the Texas Rangers, while bringing John Milner and Bert Blyleven to Pittsburgh. Norman debuted in the Gulf Coast League at 17 years old in 1975, where he hit .262 in 51 games, with 19 runs, 13 RBIs and 12 steals. His OPS was just .591 due to low power/walk totals. He played for Charleston in the Class-A Western Carolinas League in 1976, where he hit .278 in 128 games, with 88 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs and a .633 OPS. The 1977 season was split between Shreveport of the Double-A Texas League and Columbus of the Triple-A International League. He combined to hit .248 across the two levels, with 40 runs, 18 doubles, two triples, no homers, 31 RBIs and a .582 OPS in 122 games. Norman played parts of four seasons in Texas after the big trade. He debuted in the majors three days before his 20th birthday in 1978. He was up with the Rangers for two weeks early in the year, then returned in September. He batted .284 in 122 games for Tuscon of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, finishing with 82 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 76 RBIs, 17 stolen bases, 51 walks and a .715 OPS. He played 23 games for the Rangers that year, hitting .265/.265/.324 in 35 plate appearances, while making eight starts at shortstop and two at third base.
The 1979 season was Norman’s only full year in the majors. He hit .222 in 147 games, with 36 runs scored, 12 extra-base hits, 21 RBIs and a .526 OPS. He started 115 games that season, all of them at shortstop. Norman played 17 games with the Rangers through early May in 1980, hitting .219/.242/.219 in 34 plate appearances. He was sent to Charleston of the International League on May 6th, but a knee injury ended his season after 28 games. He had a .599 OPS at the time of his injury. He spent almost the entire 1981 season in the minors with Wichita of the Triple-A American Association, coming up to Texas for just seven games in late September. Norman hit .246 over 115 games for Wichita, with 37 runs, seven extra-base hits (all doubles), 31 RBIs and a .564 OPS. He had a .574 OPS in 15 plate appearances with the Rangers. He would return to the Pirates in a trade for pitcher Victor Cruz just prior to the start of the 1982 season. Norman played for Portland of the Pacific Coast League that year, hitting .270 in 134 games, with 58 runs, 12 extra-base hits, 52 RBIs and a .687 OPS. He was a September call-up for the Pirates, getting into three games, including a start at shortstop on the last day of the season. He went 0-for-3 at the plate.
Norman spent the next two years (1983-84) in the minors for the Pirates, before moving on to the Baltimore Orioles for one year, then another four years in the Montreal Expos organization. He dropped down to Double-A in 1983, playing for Lynn of the Eastern League, where he hit .268 in 122 games, with 77 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 53 RBIs, 85 walks and a .753 OPS. He was back in Triple-A during the 1984 season with Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League. He hit .287 that year in 73 games, with 29 runs, nine extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and a .726 OPS. He batted just .186/.302/.255 over 84 games with Rochester of the International League (Orioles) in 1985. He then dropped down to Double-A again in 1986, where he hit .289 in 122 games for Jacksonville of the Southern League. He finished with 53 runs, 23 extra-base hits (19 doubles), 45 RBIs and a .715 OPS. Norman made it back to the majors for one game in April of 1987. The Expos gave him a start at shortstop on April 29th, when he went 0-for-4 with an error. He was with the team for a total of eight days while they dealt with some injuries. He went back to the minors on May 3rd, then played until 1989 without another chance at the big league level. He spent the rest of 1987 with Indianapolis of the American Association, where he hit .292/.351/.406 in 76 games. He played 67 games for Indianapolis during the 1988 season, finishing with a .220 average and a .538 OPS over 175 games. His final season in 1989 consisted of him going 1-for-12 over eight games. While in the Pirates minor league system from 1982 until 1984, he had an amazing 198:66 BB/SO ratio. After retiring as a player, he became a minor league manager for seven seasons between 1992 and 2014, spending three of those years as the Gulf Coast League manager for the Expos. Norman hit .221 in 198 Major League games, with 42 runs, 12 doubles, three triples, no homers and 25 RBIs.
Bill Miller, right fielder for the 1902 Pirates. He was a 23-year-old outfielder with no prior pro experience when he manned right field for the Pirates on August 23, 1902 against the Brooklyn Superbas at Exposition Park. The Pirates had suffered numerous injuries and were in need of a player just to have enough healthy position players on the team, so they weren’t forced to use a pitcher in the outfield. Tommy Leach recommended Miller, who joined the team on very short notice. The Pittsburgh Press noted that he tried hard, but had plenty of trouble in the field, including once coming in on a ball that was well over his head. At the plate, he collected a sixth inning single that drove in two runs to make it a 5-2 deficit at that point. Three innings later, the Pirates had closed within one run, down 9-8 with two outs and a man on second base. Miller came up to bat only because no one else was on the bench that could hit for him. He would strike out, in what turned out to be a tough ending to his Major League career. The paper claimed he was too nervous to show what he could do. The “large” crowd of 5,000 fans apparently unnerved him. The Pirates played a doubleheader the next day and pitcher Jesse Tannehill was in the outfield for both games. He ended up collecting four hits over those two games. The outcomes of those games weren’t a big deal at that point because the Pirates had a 20-game lead for the pennant with 38 games left in the season. Even with numerous injuries to finish out the season, they won the division by 27 games.
Miller has no other known pro experience, but he supposedly did according to Tommy Leach, who said that he played well in the Southern Leagues. He was born in Germany, and he was the third of four German-born players in Pirates history. Miller, who is listed as being 6’2″, 170 pounds, was described by the local paper as being a “tall angular fellow, who is about as thick as a good-sized broomstick”. That same paper said that he was evidently a football player, though it’s unknown if they were trying to say that he should try another sport because their assessment of his day was brutal. According to The Pittsburgh Gazette, Miller had two strikeouts, two soft ground outs and what was said to be a lucky hit. They noted that he didn’t have any putouts or assists, but he should have because two balls hit his way should have been caught. The Pittsburgh Press noted that he had long flowing locks which made him look out of place. Their assessment was that he was brought to the team in short notice and had no time to visit a barber shop. The August 30th issue of The Sporting Life twice mentioned that he was signed for the balance of the season, and also noted the Southern League connection, while saying that he recently returned home to Cleveland because the southern climate didn’t agree with him. The part about signing for the rest of the season turned out to not be true. As noted in the The Pittsburgh Gazette, his strikeout in the ninth not only ended the game, it also ended his connection with the team.
Miller was mentioned in the June 27th edition of the The Birmingham News as signing with the Birmingham Barons of the Class-A Southern League to play left field. That was the highest level of the minors at the time. He was said to have been found by manager Irvin Wilhelm on a scouting trip to find talent. Miller was playing with a semi-pro team out of Cleveland, where he was said to be a “fine fielder, a heavy hitter and a deer at running the bases”. He was the best player Wilhelm could find on that trip. There are no records for Miller for Birmingham, but he was with the Pirates less than two months after being signed by them, and he was already home before joining the Pirates, so his stay was not long in the minors.